New Teacher Q&A: Sophie Gorlin, English
October 9, 2014
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By Yoel Abulaf
Sophie Gorlin was born in Russia and was a student at the high school before she started teaching. She teaches English and loves playing soccer and writing. Previously she taught in New Jersey, New York City and the Czech Republic.
How is the high school so far?
It’s great. It’s familiar. There is more technology in classrooms but it’s essentially the same.
Did you like it as a student?
I loved it as a student. I was very excited to come back and teach.
Did you work anywhere before the high school?
Yes, a few different places. Most recently I was student teaching at a high school in Boston. And then before that I was teaching college freshmen in New Jersey.
What drove you to teach English?
Thats a good question. My high school teachers. I’m actually an immigrant. I came here from Russia when I was a little kid.
Were you born there?
Thanks to my high school English teachers, I developed a passion for the English language and literature. I don’t think I ever had any English teachers that were immigrants. It’s nice to be able to come back as a foreigner who has mastered the language.
What is the biggest difference between the school you used to teach at and Brookline High School?
The teachers here are really committed to students, that’s obvious. They are committed to good teaching, very excited about their subject, eager to work together, happy to be here. I can’t say the same for the other school.
Why did you want to teach high schoolers?
I have taught students ranging from 6th grade to college. What I love about high school is that students are excited to engage with ideas in a very meaningful way, not just ‘okay lets analyze this particular literature because we are in a class on 17th century French literature’ or something like that. Instead the emphasis is ‘how is this relevant to our lives now’? ‘What can this tell us’? ‘How does it change the way we are in the world’? I like asking those big questions.
Did you wanted to be an English teacher when you were growing up?
I have always wanted to be a teacher and a writer.
Have you written any books?
No, I wish. I am working on one, but it will be a long time coming I think. I feel like I have landed where I belong, where I always wanted to be.
What other things do you enjoy besides teaching?
I love to play soccer and squash. I like to write and travel. I haven’t had that much money recently but I hope now that I have a full time job I will get to do more of it.
Yoel Abulaf can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org